Women up and down the country are searching for that perfect races outfit — but sometimes it’s not easy to find the right look for a special event.
Whether you’re excited for glamming up but want to make your outfit really stand out, or you’re unsure about how you’re going to fit in with the specific dress code, this guide is for you.
Alongside River Island — top UK retailer of women’s shoes and boots — we’ve put together a selection of styles to suit every woman. From comfortable looks and classic ensembles, to royal-like outfits and super glitzy designs; dress in style and confidence with our guide to five sensational races-ready outfits…
It’s race season — don’t scrimp on the glamour! If you want to channel a knock-out style that oozes female glamour, consider every aspect of your outfit and make sure they all works towards the same goal.
Your goal is to crank up the glitz and make your outfit anything but ‘standard’. Go for one- shoulder styles, ruche embellishments, figure-hugging fabrics, and asymmetric hemlines — these are all popular dress designs worn by stars on the red carpet. Bright and bold block colours are on-trend for SS18 so bear this in mind when opting for a dress shade — scarlets, violets, fuchsias, and tangerines are good calls. Offering elegantly bare shoulders and stunningly feminine silhouettes, Bardots and bodycons make excellent glamour-focused dress options, while bodices with lace or diamante embellishments create an aura of luxury.
Want the perfect, uber-glam finishing touch? Wear a gorgeous fascinator, clutch bag and stiletto heels with a pointed toe to elongate your legs.
The Royal Race Look
The royals are often spotted enjoying the races. If you want to emulate their style, look for lace fabrics, voluminous skirts and midi styles. The key with the royal races look is to dress with style but err on the side of modesty. Opt for high-necks and long-sleeves in beautiful pastel shades, and make sure the hemline falls on your knee or below. Subtle and intricate floral embellishments are also popular choices to
capture the royal look, while tulle skirts and modest headwear that matches your dress perfectly are essential to harnessing the style. A chemise dress with a simple short jacket also works wonderfully, as does a plain A-line skirt with a three-quarter sleeve blouse.
Accessorising your royal-races look is also simple. Court shoes are effortlessly demure, especially when you go for them in a mid-sized heel. Then, complement your footwear with a small, suede, over-the- shoulder bag to add to the elegant luxury vibe. Don’t forget your head accessories — anything from an oversized bow hat to a floral organza headband will perfectly conclude your royal races outfit.
The Alternative Race Look
The races may be traditional but that doesn’t mean you can’t inject some creativity into your ensemble.
Thankfully, the dress codes surrounding UK races are not as stringent as they once were, and attendees in 2018 have a lot more scope to bring their own style to the day. If you want an alternative but equally on-trend look for this year’s race season, try a jumpsuit. Go for a bold, block colour and make sure to accessorise it with statement jewellery, platform heels and extravagant headwear to make sure it fits inwith the races crowd. Jacquard fabrics, peplum designs and asymmetric necks help to elevate the mainstream-fashion jumpsuit into races-ready ranks, while a flamboyant feather-bow hat will act as your outfit’s seal of race-day approval.
Why not go one step further and ditch the traditional dress all together? A gorgeous skirt and top outfit is a beautiful, alternative look for women this race season. High-waisted pencil skirts offer an enviable outline and formal appeal that blends beautifully with the tone of the racing season. Go for white or black and pair it with a ruche-sleeve fitted blouse in magenta or wrap-around top with frill embellishments in cobalt to get on board with the colour-blocking trend for a flawless races-ready palette.
The Feminine Race Look
You can also go for the flatteringly feminine look, if you prefer. The classic, lady-like appearance is always on vogue, so look out for timeless prints that evoke a feminine appeal — floral, chintz and polka dot are perfect — and search for these patterns on elegant dress styles with modest hems and necklines. Midi, empire and sun dresses are particularly well-suited to this type of event and will allow you to exude elegance while feeling all-day comfort. Sweetheart necklines can infuse any dress with an air of feminine sophistication, while capped-sleeve shoulders, and even long-sleeves, allow you to keep your shoulders
elegantly covered — a dress code requirement at some races.
A single-shade bandeau gown is another great option — why not complement it with a printed jacket to shield you stylishly from the breeze? Polish your look by adding simple jewellery pieces and neutral-shade heels for a beautiful outfit, then finish the ensemble with a flower-trim hat to clinch a classic look fit for the UK’s finest racing events.
The Comfortable Race Look
Although we all want to look amazing on the day, it’s important that we also feel that way, too. If you’re keen to strike the perfect balance between style and comfort, simply take into account every part of your look to make sure you don’t miss anything that is going to cause you pains or uneasiness. To start, consider your options when it comes to layering. Layers will allow you the opportunity to remove and addclothing throughout the event without jeopardising the appeal of your outfit — perfect if you don’t want to overheat or start shivering. Wear a sleeveless swing dress — a famously comfortable fit — and throw over a three-quarter sleeve cropped jacket in a complementary shade. If the day calls for it, you can add a formal, tailored tweed coat with faux-fur detailing for extra warmth without looking and feeling dressed-down
If you don’t want to, forget the fascinator and ornate headwear. Either go hatless — many women do now — or opt for a looser beret or fedora, instead. It’s also common to wear boots, too, which is excellent news if you fear foot pain from wearing heels or platform wedges all day. Make sure yours are smart and chic — tan and black or ideal colours, while suede is synonymous with luxe-fashion.
Bear these fashion tips in mind when you’re preparing your races outfit to make sure you rock the perfect look for you this races season!